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    The Finnish labor legislation – an introduction part 4

    The Working Hours Act regulates that the maximum number of working hours per day is 8 and per week 40.

    Working overtime on the employer’s initiative entitles the employee to overtime compensation, which means that the employee’s salary rises by 50% for the first 2 hours and by 100% for the following hours. The employer is obligated to document the employees’ working hours, including the overtime hours.

    The Annual Holidays Act consists of regulations concerning the employees’ right to a holiday. An employee accumulates 2.5 days of holiday for each full working month (or 2 days a month, if the employment has lasted less than 1 year). An employee must work at least 14 days a month (or at least 35 hours a month) to be entitled to holiday.

    The employee is entitled to his/her normal salary during his holiday. According to the collective agreement, the employee is also entitled to get an extra annual holiday pay (lomaraha in Finnish) which is 50% of the normal month's salary.

    The employer and employee negotiate the date of the holiday, but the employer has the final right to decide the date, if necessary.

    If the employees have not spent all of their holiday when the employment contract ends, they are entitled to get the remaining part of holiday paid out in money.

    However, the Working Hours Act or the Annual Holiday Act do not apply to employees who are working at the university under the 1600 hour rule. According to the collective agreement for the universities, the employees working in the 1600 hour -system, have the right to choose their working hours and days.

    The employee may not oversee the daily or weekly spent working hours or set rules to for example how many days a week the employee must be present at the university. Naturally. the employees must attend meetings and hold their classes etc., but their freedom may not be limited unnecessarily.

    The employee must also personally see to it that he takes the equivalent holiday/time off.

    The annual holiday bonus is also paid to those under the 1600 hours rule.

    Occupational Safety and Health Act regulates both the physical and the psychological safety in the workplace. The employer must ensure that the employees stay healthy in the working environment. The employer must provide the employees for example with adequate instructions on working with hazardous materials and provide protective equipment. The employer must also make sure there is no bullying or other inappropriate behavior such as sexual harassment in the workplace. If the employer finds, or is informed of, any problems in either the physical or the psychological aspects in the working environment, the employer must immediately act to rectify the situation.

    For more details, please visit:

    text Mia Weckman
    lawyer, the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers

    • Painetussa lehdessä sivu 38